By Edgar Hidalgo Chacón- Education Degree student
Did you know that Bombaro (2020) claims that learning communities respond to educational inclusion needs, given that they focus on collaboration? The current educational framework requires students to develop soft skills, such as empathy, good interpersonal relationships, and social responsibility because these, in connection with curricular learning, contribute to the development of integrated human beings. Additionally, to enhance a collaborative environment in the classroom, teachers must apply constructivist educational strategies that inspire and motivate students to be involved and engaged in classes, such as game playing, challenges, and experiential learning.
Students learn through exploration, creation, and sharing. As a result, implementing learning communities is the most viable way to reinvent learning, since it places collaboration and active student roles as the transversal axes of the education system. This is crucial because inclusive education must enrich the educational process in which students, both with and without disabilities, complement their strengths to build meaningful learning.
To achieve high-quality standards in education, it is necessary to include capacities and skills to achieve the objectives set, so that all students have the same rights and the opportunity to collaborate to join forces as a group. On these lines, Barclay & Gosik (2018) determine that “learning communities guide social and educational transformation, dissolving the barriers that had divided populations with and without disabilities, in order to promote inclusion, collaboration and interaction in order to transform the educational context” (p. 77). It is possible to increase positive interdependence through learning communities because everyone works to meet the same goal or objective. The effort of all members is needed to achieve what is desired.
It is underlined that any learning path must be adapted and contextualized to student profiles to achieve the indicators or objectives determined in the syllabus or the curriculum. Additionally, every teacher has a responsibility to care about providing the appropriate educational environment so that students can feel comfortable building learning in an emotionally safe space. In summary, this is how the learning model can be reinvented in the educational framework.
Despite the above, there may be a lack of knowledge of how to develop a learning community in the classroom, which can constitute a barrier to this process. However, it is necessary to recognize that through constructivist strategies, such as developing teams that undertake challenges, technological or traditional games, and activities involving learning by doing and sharing, a learning community can begin being built. Likewise, having to complete the curriculum at a certain time can be another issue to deal with; however, it could be said that collaboration enables faster learning and progress. Even though the previous two issues could be seen as obstacles if the teacher needs to meet the entire population’s needs, the promotion of learning communities can represent a viable solution because collaboration and motivation are cornerstones that promote meaningful and guaranteed learning.
By going over in depth what is provided, learning communities can reinvent the education system, redesign learning tasks, enhance collaboration, and the competence of “learning by doing and sharing.” They also facilitate the integration of diversity in the learning process and promote leadership and healthy coexistence, making them a viable proposal for teachers to meet educational demands. Although they may not be perfect, they can offer a feasible route for reinventing class methodology in inclusive spaces.
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Barclay, H. & Gosik, N.J. (2019). Promoting inclusion in education abroad: A handbook of research and practice. Stylus.
Bombaro, C. (2019). Diversity, equity, and inclusion in action: planning, leadership, and programming guide. ALA.